Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Gaming Autobiography Phase IV: The Long And Winding Road

And now for the final installment of my gaming autobiography. After playing a variety of GW games for about 2 years I was beginning to get a little bored. I tried mixing things up by trying skirmish rules (which I liked in theory) different armies, scenarios you name it. One particularly boring day at work, having read everything of interest on the GW website, I decided on a whim to look at another game company just to pass the time. I remember hearing about these games WARMACHINE and HORDES somwhere and decided to check them out.

I found the Privateer Press website and spent the rest of the day looking at models. I downloaded the quickstart rules and slowly started to get the hang of it. There were things I absolutely loved about this game right away: the low cost of entry thanks to battleboxes, all the stats on cards instead of hidden in codexes, only one way you build a model (no more stressing out about whether to put a melta on that tank or a lascannon), feats, no codex creep, the list goes on. I read an article on someone’s blog about the merits of WM/Hordes over GW games and I was thoroughly convinced that it was a better fit for me*.

*I really want to emphasize that part, PP is a better fit for me. I know the PP community rags on GW games a lot and while I would probably never play a mainstream GW game again if it’s fun for you then by all means carry on!

My choice in factions when starting a game usually revolve around how I can get my friends to hop onboard too. I decided to start with Warmachine as most of my friends played 40k not fantasy and I was tired of painting orcs anyway. I knew I could get Jon to play Cryx, but he had just bought one of the big Tyranid army boxes so I thought it may take a little time to ease things over. I had another friend who I knew would go for Cygnar so that left me with Khador or the Protectorate. Deep in my soul I knew I wanted to play Protectorate, I was a Religious Studies major in college and the fanatical factions always appeal to me. But against my better judgment I convinced myself to try something different. I had an army of witch hunter themed IG and adding another red and white religiously motivated army seemed too much. So Khador it was. I really do like the aesthetic of a lot of the Khador stuff. I loved the warcasters and the backround, the big hulking warjacks, the whole Russian theme is pretty awesome, and the lack of light warjacks (they’re called infantry in Khador) and arc nodes (well there are lots of axe shaped ones and they only channel one spell: pain**).

**I wish I could claim credit for that one, but I stole it from the PP forums

And so I started my foray into Warmachine with the Khador Battlebox (and convinced my friend to order the Cygnar box). I had never dealt with metal models larger than a 32mm base so that was intimidating but I really enjoyed the heft of a warjack. The warjacks and Sorscha were beautiful models, I would spend hours just looking at them sitting there on my desk. I got the whole box painted in about a week (I was very excited) and got ready for my first game.

My first painted WM Minis:

My friend and I stumbled through our first game (Sorscha’s feat +Windrush FTW!) and had a blast. I had more fun with a three model army than I had with my games with hundreds of models. After that game I knew I would never play 40k or Fantasy again (and that is true to this day). And so the reign of WARMACHINE and HORDES began. Jon hopped on board with Cryx, I added a few models to my Khador army, then jumped ship to Trollbloods. I bought some PoM on e-bay for a friend who was interested in playing. I handed over the goods and he never even opened the box so a few months later I had them back and was considering putting them up for sale. At that time Jon started mercilessly destroying my Trollbloods and I remembered that PoM was my first calling. I came up with a scheme and tried them out and fell in love with the playstyle (at that time it was indestructible Vilmon and zealots of doom). My Khador and Trollbloods took a back seat to the Protectorate and have stayed there ever since. The MKII field test came and went and now the game is better than ever.

I finally have found a game and a gaming community to be involved in. From the initial fear of painting I’ve found that I’m pretty decent at it and it’s now my favorite part of the hobby. I used to be afraid to expose my nerdy secrets and now I can walk into a store and find a game with a stranger and have a great time. I went to Kingdom-Con last April and am headed to Socal Smackdown this weekend and nothing gets me more excited about gaming than meeting tons of people who are just as passionate about this game as I am.

So there you have it, my very long and rambling gaming autobiography. If you’ve made it this far thank you, and you must have been very bored. Also, I’d love to hear other people’s stories so post them on the IABN!

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